Australia's Victoria to host 2026 Commonwealth Games
A file image of CWG opening ceremony.|
The Commonwealth Games are likely to return to Australia in 2026, with rural Victoria picked as the host city, according to the CWG Federation. 'The Commonwealth Games Federation is absolutely delighted to award the 2026 Commonwealth Games to Victoria,' President Dame Louise Martin said.
"Commonwealth Games Australia and the Victorian Government have set out a bold and innovative vision that provides an exciting new blueprint for hosting our major multi-sport event."
In March 2026, the Games will be held in numerous towns and regional centers around Australia, including Melbourne, Geelong, Bendigo, Ballarat, and Gippsland, each with its own athletes' village. The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) confirmed on Tuesday that the opening ceremony will be held at the famous 100,000-seat Melbourne Cricket Ground.
In a remarkable turn of events, the Commonwealth Games, a multi-sport spectacular, will be hosted by a whole area for the first time in the Games' 92-year existence. Normally, a city, not a region, is chosen to host the Games, but that will not be the case in 2026.
The hosting rights for the 2026 Games were up for grabs when Birmingham, England, replaced Durban, South Africa, as the host city for the 2022 Games, which will be held from July 28 to August 8.
After the Victorian state government launched exclusive discussions with the Games' organizing body in February 2022, Victoria was regarded as the strong favourite despite the fact that there were no solid bids for the 2026 Games.
CGF President Dame Louise Martin said: "The Commonwealth Games Federation is absolutely delighted to award the 2026 Commonwealth Games to Victoria. Commonwealth Games Australia and the Victorian Government have set out a bold and innovative vision for hosting our major multi-sport event. In Victoria, we believe we have found the perfect partner for the next stage of our journey."
The Games in 2026 will be the 23rd edition of the major multi-sport event, which began in 1930 in Hamilton, Canada. Victoria is a world-class venue for big events and tourism.
However, with Victoria being chosen as the regional location, Australia will be hosting the big athletic event for the sixth time. The previous Commonwealth Games that were held in Victoria was in 2006 when Melbourne hosted the event.
In recent history, India won a total of 66 medals in the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, including 26 gold, 20 silver, and 20 bronze, and ended third in the medal tally. A total of 16 sports have been proposed for the Games, including Twenty20 cricket, with more to be added later this year.
Premier of Victoria Daniel Andrews said: "It's a great honour to have Victoria chosen as the host venue for the 2026 Commonwealth Games - we can't wait to welcome the world to all of our states. The Commonwealth Games in regional Victoria is great for jobs, hospitality, and our economy."
The Commonwealth Games have been held in Australia five times, with Victoria hosting the Melbourne 2006 Games, largely regarded as one of the most successful editions of the tournament in history. The country has also hosted the Olympics in Sydney in 1938, Perth in 1962, Brisbane in 1982, and Gold Coast most recently.
Shooting and wrestling are not included in the original list of 16 sports for the 2026 Commonwealth Games, which will be a major setback for India if this remains the case. Athletics and swimming have been made compulsory, while the remainder is open to the host country.
The Australian Open tennis grand slam, the Melbourne Formula 1 Grand Prix, and the Melbourne Cup are just a few of the high-profile athletic events that have taken place in Victoria. The state also holds premier cricket, golf, and Australian Rules Football tournaments on a regular basis.